Blinded by Sun, who would see the beautiful Earth if it weren’t for us, earthlings, putting it on the galactic map?
Outshined by the giant tourist attraction Chicago, little Rockford, IL, nevertheless holds its own.
“Real. Original. A wonderful place to spend a life – or a weekend!” That’s how Rockford, the third largest city in Illinois, USA (population slightly over 150 000) markets itself to the world.
A day trip to “forest city” a.k.a. “the city of gardens and rivers” reveals a string of places that would make any large metropolis proud.
The Coronado Theatre, a historical 1927 movie palace, is meticulously restored to its original opulence. Built in the Art Deco and Spanish Baroque Revival style, with Italianate and Oriental features thrown into the mix, it’s nicknamed “Rockford’s Wonder Theater.”
The auditorium ceiling is painted as blue sky with clouds and stars, all seats are covered with plush red velvet, and the organ player, Bob Bates, performs the swanky tunes of the roaring 20s on the modernized and computerized instrument during public tours.
Rockford Art Museum (RAM) in existence since 1913, features an extensive collection of 1700 pieces in its five major sections: Modern and Contemporary American Art, American Masters from 1830-1940, Photography, Contemporary Glass, and Outsider Art.
The art and design scene is booming with well-attended 317 Studio & Gallery, State of the Art Contemporary Art Gallery, and Rockford Art Deli studio that produces “inedible goods and foods for thoughts.”
As for edible goods, I would do a special trip to Rockford just to indulge in airy buttery Swedish pancakes at the Stockholm Inn restaurant (“Swedish Heritage. Swedish Traditions”) decorated with timeless Carl Larsson imagery.
And if a day in Rockford, IL, is not enough - there's always Hilton Garden Inn to spend a night in comfort.
More information at: www.gorockford.com